The Voice of Mr. Fullerman, Mark Bonnar
Shetland star Mark Bonnar on playing a Llama and a Kiwi Fruit and on Finding Love for Misunderstood Teacher Mr Fullerman
Are you excited to be doing a second series of The Brilliant World of Tom Gates?
“I am very excited to be doing a second series of The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, thank you for asking. It’s always a joy to sit down and record characters like these. It’s very rare that you get to do such a variety of different voices. Even though I’ve done a fair bit of animation before, it’s usually only one character, but I’m doing two or three in most episodes as well as Mr Fullerman, which is fantastic fun. So yes, in this series, I’ve played everything from a lama to a kiwi fruit!”
Were you pleased with the reception for Series 1? Have you had any feedback from anyone who’s watched it?
“I’m presuming the reception was good because we’ve got Series 2! The only feedback I had was really from the occasional child at my children’s school, who shouted ’TOM GATES!’ pointing at me. Of course I corrected them, and said ‘No, Mr Fullerman. Now get back to class!”
What’s in store for Mr Fullerman in Series 2? Is he still misunderstood?
“Mr Fullerman is still widely misunderstood. He’s got a heart of gold, he covers it up very well with a gruff exterior, but there’s a small frisson with Mrs Nap in Series 2, who is played by the wonderful Bonnie Langford, and I think, well I hope he’s on the pathway to finding some love in his life!”
What is your favourite storyline from the second series?
“I think my favourite storyline from the second series is the school sports day storyline, where Tom has to (because he’s left his shorts at home) choose something from the spare kit box, which is something every single child can relate to! That little box of mystery that holds nothing but a bit of chewing gum from 1973, some horrible plimsolls from the same year, and a pair of ripped shorts. Yes, I think that was my favourite storyline, watching the children squirm when they realised they were going to have to choose stuff out of that box."
Is it nice to work on something light-hearted in between working on some of your grittier roles?
“I don’t know where anybody has got the idea that I do gritty roles [laughs]. If you’re talking to Stephen Graham or Robert De Niro maybe… But no, it’s always fun to do something like this, between what you might arguably call straight acting roles. As an actor, animation is something that I had a real desire to do for years. I finally got the chance when I did Tree Fu Tom, which was a wonderful introduction to the genre. Since then I’ve done several games and animations, but TWWOTG is definitely one of the most fun!"
What animation did you watch when you were a child?
“My all-time greatest love is Tom and Jerry. The original Tom and Jerry, from the 50s and 60s, the early ones, are just delightful. The animation is beautiful, the action is so beautifully paced, and the acting… The feel of them, they are just something else.”
Author: Tom Gates HQ
Date: April 2022